Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 13, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCOTT of Florida. Mr. President, let me begin with a simple question: When are we going to say enough?

The American people are saying it. Heck, even traditionally liberal, mainstream news outlets are getting there.

But here in Congress, it is nothing but business as usual. We just keep letting it pile up month after month, year after year. Now it is burying our country.

The ``it'' should be obvious. I am talking about America's massive Federal debt, now more than $31 trillion. It has grown by nearly $5 trillion since President Biden took office, and it was growing like a weed before that too.

We should all be disgusted with the reckless spending in Washington that has caused this massive debt.

Just look at what it is doing to our country. Historic inflation is raging across America, hurting families and businesses, and pushing the American Dream out of reach, as prices skyrocket and interest rates follow closely behind.

Reckless spending approved by this Chamber and our colleagues in the House has caused this.

I have been in the Senate for almost 4 years. In this time, I have talked a lot about my childhood. Maybe you have heard my story of someone who was born to a single mom, grew up poor, and lived in public housing.

It is a hard place to start your life, and, today, folks in the same situation are struggling more than ever to get by and make ends meet as they deal with sky-high inflation. In most places across the world, people who grow up like me have no hope of being anything but what they were born into--for me, that was poor and watching my mom struggle every day to get by. That is untrue in America.

This is the greatest Nation on Earth because a kid who grows up watching their parents struggle and living in public housing can work hard and be anything.

But that promise isn't guaranteed. We have to protect that by being responsible with taxpayer money and not allowing inflation and debt to ruin us.

Throughout my life, I have run businesses big and small, from a couple of hundred employees to hundreds of thousands of employees. Here is one thing that doesn't change no matter how big you get: If you don't live within your means, you fail. Same goes for any family. No family or business in any of our States gets to burn through money with no consequences. The only place that has become acceptable is here in Washington. Why? Because Congress stopped doing what it got elected to do.

As I said, I have been in Washington for about 4 years now. One thing I have learned is that in Washington, compromise means everyone gets everything so nobody has to make a tough choice. The result is gross fiscal mismanagement and unsustainable debt. Instead of standing up to this broken status quo in Congress--something I think most of us ran on--too many people get elected, come to Washington, and become a rubber stamp for more spending.

So here we are again, just days away from a government funding deadline. Some of our colleagues are again pushing a massive omnibus-- what we are calling the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill--which keeps this inflation-bomb deficit spending going.

I asked earlier: When are we going to say ``enough?'' Will it be when the deficit hits $35 trillion, $45 trillion, $50 trillion? Can you imagine $50 trillion worth of debt? No. The answer has to be now. We say enough is enough today. And we should start by saying no to a massive omnibus spending bill and approving a simple continuing resolution being offered by my good friend Senator Lee of Utah.

Doing this allows the new Congress to put together a real budget that is balanced, which is what we should be doing anyway.

I don't like continuing resolutions any more than I think anyone here does. Since my first day in the Senate, I have been vocal about needing to pass a budget--a full budget--that is balanced and gets America's finances in order. But that is not going to happen in the next 3 days or before the next Congress begins, for that matter.

So the thought of passing a Pelosi-Schumer spending bill now, just weeks before a new Republican majority takes power in the House, is insane. It is as bad an idea as I have heard of up here.

It also goes against decades of precedent. As Senator Lee has said, since 1954, control of the House has changed five times, and there has never been an instance of Congress passing an omnibus spending bill before a new House majority takes power.

Given that America is now in more debt than ever before and inflation is the highest it has been in 40 years, why should we choose now to break precedent and green-light more reckless spending?

And let's not forget what Democrats wish to do with the hard-earned tax dollars of American families. The last time Democrats passed a spending bill, they approved $80 billion so that the IRS can hire 87,000 new agents to target working families and small businesses. Worse still, Democrats are now forcing every American to report any transaction of $600 or more to the IRS, giving the Federal Government unprecedented access into the personal finances of American families. We can expect more of the same from them now.

Maya Angelou was right when she said:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

Now, we just heard what our Democrat colleagues are saying in objecting to this commonsense solution to avoid a government shutdown. They are saying that our proposal will cut services. Passing the CR into next year will not result in any cuts to funding or services; it will simply continue government operations just as they are today.

Here is the deal. For too long, the failed and ridiculous thinking in Washington has been that budgets don't matter and inflation doesn't matter because voters will never tie wasteful spending to inflation. The only way to get some things done is to shove them into a giant spending bill negotiated in secret and pass it before anyone has any time to read it. That is wrong, and the American public is disgusted with this. It is not how any family or business operates.

In the real world, you make plans, you meet deadlines, you make choices and live within your means, because failing to do so means failing to survive and prosper.

Congress shouldn't be treated any differently. Congress has been broken and unaccountable for too long.